New PETA billboard proposes solution to Detroit's rat problem

Study ranks Detroit seventh "rattiest" city in America

In arecent studyconducted by pest control leader, Orkinlists Detroit as the seventh"rattiest" city in the country.

DETROIT – A recent study conducted by the pest control company Orkin lists Detroit as the seventh "rattiest" city in the country.

Rodent sightings in Taylor have become so common the issue prompted residents to call for a town hall meeting to discuss solutions. 

The national animal rights advocate group PETA is weighing in and getting involved in the issue. 

The group plans to run a billboard featuring a sloppy person, trash and rat with the words, "You Dirty Rat. Cleanliness Is the Humane Way to a Rat-Free Home."

The billboard portrays people as the cause of the city's rat problem. The group says its website offers practical, inexpensive and effective ways to discourage rats instead of poisoning them, which PETA says would only lead to an influx of more rats. 

"There's no need to be cruel to rats, who are intelligent and affectionate little animals who form close bonds with their families and friends, have been shown to enjoy playing and wrestling, and even giggle when tickled," says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. "Killing these animals doesn't stop more rats from moving in, so PETA suggests that homeowners and building managers rat-proof buildings, that cities improve trash collection, and that residents do their part by not littering."

PETA offered the following tips for addressing rodent issues:

•  Put all food and garbage in sturdy, well-sealed containers that rats can't chew through, and feed companion animals indoors. 

•  Trim back vegetation around buildings, stack wood in tight piles away from the house, and seal holes larger than ¼-inch in diameter, cracks in the walls and floors, and gaps around doors, windows and plumbing.

•  After rat-proofing the building, live-trap and remove any rats still inside. Use a commercially available Havahart trap or make your own. Check the trap hourly, and release any captured rats within 100 yards of where they were caught. 

About the Author:

Natasha Dado is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit.